This article is about the ruler of the Hyleg in the original Dorotheus of Sidon, an astrologer of the 1st century CE. This material pertains to the calculation of the length of life in Ancient Astrology.
Note: I want to thank my friend Dimitar Kojuharov who brought this chart to my attention. Even though his reason was to discuss the length of life technique with me, I noticed something that is also very relevant for determining the Owner and Captain of the chart.
The bound lord is the only ruler of the Hyleg in the original Dorotheus
Upon reading this passage in Dorotheus (Book III, p 78 or 238 – Dorotheus of Sidon translated by David Pingree and published in 2005 by the Astrology Center of America) I noticed something which had escaped me in the few times I have read Dorotheus of Sidon.
For those readers that do not have a paper copy of that indispensable book, Deb Houlding has generously provided the first three books in electronic format for personal study use only. You can download them on her wonderful website: www.skyscript.co.uk , with Book III being here: www.skyscript.co.uk/dorotheus3.pdf
The passage I am discussing corresponds to page 3 in the pdf.
Since everyone can download the book for free with the touch of a button, I won’t write the planetary longitudes.
Here is the chart, calculated with Delphic Oracle and Pophyry Magus 2 – the best programs for Ancient Astrology:
The only difference of a portion or more in given in the original chart is Zeus but that is absolutely of no consequence as to what I want to draw your attention to.
Notice that the chart is from 26 Feb 381, Alexandria Egypt, at 7.07.21 AM if one uses Aldebaran 15 Taurus to make the Asc 18 Pisces.
In other words, this chart does not come from Dorotheus, who wrote in the 1st century CE.
So why is this significant? Well, because it proves that the Persians who added it more than 300 years later were following the original Dorotheus when it comes to determining the Giver of Years/Oikodespotes. I have always been very suspicious of some things included in Dorotheus. When I read the book for the first time all those years ago, this was one of them. I mean, Dorotheus always said to use the confine lord (as did Valens and Rhetorius among others). However, the text also said to use all the other 4 lords – domicile, exaltation, trigon and face.
My commentary on the chart in Dorotheus
Here is the insight:
You will notice that the author/s were very sparse in their delineation. They could have explained their choice but they did not. Thus one is forced to figure it out, which I did with relish last night.
It is a diurnal chart, but yet the author/s skip the Sun as a Giver of Life/Apheta/Hyleg. The ruler of the Hyleg Sun is Zeus but he is averse. Again, I remind that ONLY the confine/bound lord is to be used.
Then comes the Moon. Its ruler is also Zeus who is also averse to it.
Pay close attention here: IF the original Dorotheus had said to use the other 4 lords (even if one does not even bother with the face, this leaves the domicile, exaltation and trigon), then why did the authors reject the Moon?
The Moon is conjunct the Dsc; it is even strongly advancing. Thus it is in the 7th by WS and quadrant. Moreover, it is in a feminine zoidion and quadrant – rejoicing as the Hellenistic author say, but not completely because it is above the horizon. So why did the astrologer/s throw away the Moon? Its domicile and exalted lord Hermes is conjunct the Asc and thus opposing the Moon. Which is fine, because it is not averse. Hermes is invisible though. It became so 4 days before birth, as PM2 shows: EL-4 = evening last 4 days before birth.
Does this mean the Persian knew how to calculate the real astronomical visibility of the planets? I do not know; it cannot be said from this.
What is making this more difficult is that Hermes also started to walk back 3 days before birth and is within 15 portions of the Sun. It is thus under the approximate beams. Moreover, as the authors are following Dorotheus, that is, they do not care about any other lords, this is also not helping figure out whether they knew or not.
Anyway, this leaves the trigon lord (and the face one if one cares for it, which happens to be the same trigon one) which is Aphrodite. It is opposing the Moon, this time by an applying diametrical configuration. What is more, Aphrodite is exalted and strongly advancing in the Asc, in a feminine zoidion and quarter. Yet the astrologer/s rejected it as well. Why?
Because, again, the Persian author/s follow Dorotheus according to whom the ruler of the Hyleg is the confine lord only and no one else.
The author/s choose the Asc eventually.
Notice something else though. It is a Full Moon chart, which means one must look at Fortune, which is in Libra and its ruler is Kronos who is averse to it! This is not mentioned though.
The Persian astrologer/s chose a sinking planet as the ruler of the Hyleg
There are difficulties with the Asc though. Hermes, the confine lord, is conjunct the Asc but is invisible, though making a sinking phasis. So why did the Persian/s choose the Asc as a Giver of Life?
Well, SAN (the prenatal lunation) is cadent, so this leaves nothing else. Fine, but why ignore the Moon and choose the Asc? Because the ruler of the Asc, its confine lord Hermes, while invisible, is not averse to it. This is unlike Zeus, the ruler of the Lights. While visible, Zeus is averse to them.
The 4th century Persian astrologer/s did not use the ruler of the Hyleg for the calculation of the length of life
My purpose is not the length of life here. Still, notice that even though the astrologer/s chose the Asc, he did not use the years of its ruler Hermes (because he is invisible). He directed the confines to the Asc/Distributions and thus calculated the length of life.
Another thing, which the advanced astrologer would have noticed, but that is provided that the Persians knew of the doctrine about the Owner and Captain, is that the astrologer/s did NOT say that the nativity is without a ruler/bound lord. What this means, provided they knew, is that they allowed an invisible Owner/Oikodespotes because they knew that there is a difference between the Owner and the Giver of Years/Alchocoden.
Please note this is mere speculation on my part. It cannot be proved with this surviving text, but it cannot be disproved either.
The implication of this original Dorotheus text
Whether the Persians knew there is a difference between the Owner and the Giver of Years is not important here. What IS important is to draw your attention to the fact that the Persian astrologers were following Dorotheus, who himself was representing a very old tradition.
Remember what Dorotheus said in first page of Book I, namely that he had traveled to Egypt and Babylon and collected the best of the best astrological knowledge. What is important is that best of the best ancient astrologers, like Dorotheus and Valens used the bound lord as the only lord of the Hyleg/Giver of Life.